August 8: Livin' the dream!

I don't really have much to say today about lordly Odysseus's first encounter with Circe. "Men are pigs," maybe -- but that feels like a better post on the Jim Belushi Show blog. Instead, for this short, Friday afternoonish post, I'm going to focus on the one paragraph -- prose translation, remember -- that caught my eye. Odysseus, you may remember, is so eager to get home that he's making himself sleep with Circe, a completely different beautiful woman -- because, I guess, it would be rude not to. Circe gets her entourage to work, and we get a glimpse of the high life, dawn-of-literature style:

...Of these one cast upon the chairs goodly coverlets of purple above, and spread a linen cloth thereunder. And lo, another drew up silver tables to the chairs, and thereon set for them golden baskets. And a third mixed sweet honey-hearted wine in a silver bowl, and set out cups of gold. And a fourth bare water, and kindled a great fire beneath the mighty cauldron. So the water waxed warm; but when it boiled in the bright brazen vessel, she set me in a bath and bathed me with water from out a great cauldron, pouring it over head and shoulders, when she had mixed it to a pleasant warmth, till from my limbs she took away the consuming weariness. 
Now after she had bathed me and anointed me well with olive oil, and cast about me a fair mantle and a doublet, she led me into the halls and set me on a chair with studs of silver, a goodly carven chair, and beneath was a footstool for the feet. And a handmaid bare water for the hands in a goodly golden ewer, and poured it forth over a silver basin to wash withal; and to my side she drew a polished table, and a grave dame bare wheaten bread and set it by me, and laid on the board many dainties, giving freely of such things as she had by her.
Wheaten bread, people! It's like a resort! In fact, it may help this particular classic "come to life" if you imagine Odysseus and Circe right here:



Enjoy your weekend, folks -- ski, swim, play tennis. Have a ball.

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